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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Comments from Previous Students

James Davies, MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2013-14)

Since graduating from the MA, I have completed a PhD on World Heritage Education, spent two years as a teaching fellow for the International Heritage Management and World Heritage Studies MA courses at the Ironbridge Institute and am now the International Stakeholder Engagement Portfolio Manager (Heritage) for the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The ICHM MA at the Department of Archaeology, Durham University provided me with the essential knowledge, skills and contacts for a career in the heritage sector and for further academic studies. If I had not done my MA placement, I would not have gone on to do a PhD. Studying heritage management in a World Heritage Site is a unique opportunity, which significantly enhanced the learning experience.

Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil, MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2017-18)

The International Cultural Heritage Masters programme at Durham University was a one-year intensive programme that challenged and helped develop my management, research and analytical skills. The course covered every aspect of heritage management by introducing us to the various spectres of heritage and how one can deal with them. We were also lucky to go see some of the best heritage sites in the United Kingdom and interact with the people working there.

Born into the erstwhile royal family of Bhavnagar (Gujarat, India), I have been lucky enough to be exposed to a rich and varied cultural heritage. I am currently working on the restoration of an old palace owned by my family. Armed with better knowledge now, I am able to lead the project. Management modules included in the course have helped me develop skills that I had not developed or tapped into previously. These focused on a range of topics right from marketing to finance and what one can do in order to create a financially viable project.

Learning about community engagement during the course and the placement, which was an integral part of the Masters I was inspired to start a citizen led initiative in my hometown, Bhavnagar. The society focuses on heritage revival and awareness, heritage conservation and community engagement. The society has received an extremely positive feedback till date and we have organized events such as a heritage walk and an art competition for school students focusing on their city and heritage.

Lauren Cripps, MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2013-14)

Studying MA ICHM at Durham was one of the most formative and enjoyable experiences of my life. I was able to explore my interest in heritage in a supportive but challenging environment which gave me the skills and the confidence I needed to start my career in the sector. The varied workshops, talks and lectures are great at giving a broad perceptive of the challenges the sector faces today. I use approaches I learned on the course on a daily basis in my professional life. Durham is a great place to study heritage as it is a city rich in culture and history with a strong sense of local identity and pride which gives context to your studies.

I am now working as Events and programming officer at Gibside for the National Trust.

Laura Marriott, MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2017-18)

My name is Laura and I had a brilliant time on the ICHM course in the 2017/18 academic year. It was a great opportunity to learn more about a subject I am passionate about. The modules gave us a chance to research various topics of our choice within the field of heritage, such as ethics and tourism. The dissertation modules allowed us to choose a topic we are most interested in, for me this was heritage education, and see how theory is applied in a selection of heritage sites. Also, I particularly enjoyed all of our field trips which gave us the chance to explore new heritage sites around the North East.

Since leaving Durham, I spent a summer on the punts in Cambridge, my 6th year doing this, whilst I wrote my dissertation. At the end of the summer I started a new job in the heritage industry: Customer Experience Team Leader at Imperial War Museum, Duxford. My job role involves writing and giving a series of tours around the museum and managing a team of 6 paid guides and 70 volunteers.

Ziad Siala, MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2016-17)

Since my return to Libya in September 2017, I continued working with the American Archeological mission in the Photo Archive project, my part in the project concluded by the end of the year, and was followed by joining the team of the Training in Action project. A project funded by the British Council-Cultural Protection fund, and involves Durham University, UCL, and KCL.

Info about the project:

The team:

In 2018, I contributed in the revision of the State of Conservation report of the five Libyan World Heritage Sites (currently in the List of WH in Danger). In November 2018, I was officially hired by the Libyan Department of Antiquities (DOA), and about a month ago I was appointed to head the Office of the World Heritage Sites, a new office created to aid DOA and WHS sites managers in all things related to UNESCO and WH Committee issues (we are still officially choosing a name - and I am pushing for a more defined tasks and job description).

I truly believe that my MA has broadened my understanding of the general issues related to heritage, and made me realize the different and various definitions; views; and perceptions that different people have regarding heritage and culture.

I also think that one of the main strengths of the program was in the varied nationalities of my class, I believe that this was one of the key program strengths and that it would not have affected me, or the way I view my work and the world, if it was not a multicultural group.

Jen Dyer, MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2015-16)

"The MA in International Cultural Heritage Management at Durham gave me skills, knowledge and an understanding about the heritage sector above and beyond my expectations. The guidance of Mary Brooks, coupled with a wealth of speakers both from the UK and from around the world, provided an me with an overview of the critical thinking, best practice and inspirational activity going on across the globe in cultural heritage.

The placement I undertook with Auckland Castle’s Community Outreach department during the course led me, and, moreover, gave me the skills necessary to be where I am today – fundraising for Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, after completing a two-year stint at the Foundling Museum. I am also a Board Member for Young Arts Fundraisers.

My time at Durham not only prepared me for, and propelled me to, where I am today but it was a year of enjoyable experiences, fascinating conversations and the chance to meet like-minded individuals with whom I have forged lasting friendships."

Yuqi Lu (Ellen), MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2017-18)

This course brought me a good experience. At the beginning of this course, I didn't fully understand what I could gain from this course. I just chose it out of my interest in cultural heritage. In the first week of the course, our teacher took us to understand the course. In our class, we know classmates from different countries. What attracts me most about this course is that it is not only taught indoors, but also gives us the opportunity to study in an actual heritage site. The first cultural heritage site we went to was Ushaw College, a very historic religious college not far from Durham University. Here we truly experienced how the college is teaching, visited their library and saw many amazing old books. In each semester, we have the opportunity to visit different cultural heritage sites, which give us different management experience and communicate with those local communities. Such visiting helped us understand the management of the heritage site and its culture. This course made me understand what cultural heritage management is and what I should do. It also let me know a lot of lovely classmates, and we spent a good year together.

Karol Hermoza Loyola, MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2015-16)

My experience in Durham was one of the greatest professional and personal growths in my life. I think the courses, teachers and overall activities gave me an amazing look on how cultural heritage is managed in England and other parts of the world, which also gave me the opportunity to have a critical thinking about my own country, Peru and Latin America.

I'm currently working on the sector of international volunteering and cultural immersion. I have worked as the Peru Director for Cross-Cultural Solutions in Lima and I'm just taking over the position of Peru Programme Manager for Global Vision International in Cusco. On both cases, I am the top representative in country and the one directing the programs for international volunteers. I am able to develop programs in education, health, business and women empowerment, as well as showing and learning about cultural heritage through monuments' visits and immersion in indigeneous communities in Cusco, Peru.

Jun Hui Sim, MA International Cultural Heritage Management (2016-17)

The MA ICHM course offers an essential insight and understanding of cultural heritage, looking at the various challenges and concerns of managing cultural heritage within different socio-cultural, political and economic contexts. Through various discussions, sharing and site visits, the course fosters critical thinking on the complexity and issues of managing World Heritage Sites and the communities in it. It was altogether a very exciting and informative experience, especially more so when living and studying within the World Heritage Site of Durham.

The knowledge and exposure from the course have been very helpful in the field. While mainly working with local communities, I am tasked to handle regional, national and international projects such as the Community Based ICH Inventory and Empowering Local Communities through Creative industry, Interpretation Centre and Museum in collaboration with UNESCO Office Jakarta. I am also currently in the process of publishing a book with my co-curators based on our 2018 public exhibition about the history and cultural heritage of George Town, Penang.

Currently works as a Cultural Heritage Officer in George Town World Heritage Incorporated, the state-appointed heritage management agency for the World Heritage Site of George Town (jointly inscribed with Melaka), Malaysia.